On the Radar: 02/27 - 03/05
Here are my top entertainment picks for this week.
The TL;DR version is:
1. Logan (film)
2. National Treasure (Hulu)
3. Table 19 (film)
4. Shades of Blue (NBC)
Darkhorse: Headshot (Indonesian film)
"Logan", the X-Men related feature that will likely be the last time to catch Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Patrick Stewart as Professor X and the first time to meet X-23, the young girl who kind of takes over for Wolverine in the comics, is the blockbuster of the week but I have to admit to having a soft spot for limited release "Table 19".
I'm going to wait for reviews on that one but right now, I'm willing to give it a shot, even if it has lukewarm reviews since it seems like a film that higher-minded critics might brush off as light fare even thought that's all it is designed to be.
Also coming out this weekend are:
In Wide Release
Before I Fall: Essentially Groundhog's Day in High School, a young girl relives the last day of her life - a typical high school day that ends with her getting into a car crash. As the day replays over and over, she begins to question her actions and decision.
The Shack: A faith-based movie about a guy getting a letter from God after his daughter is murdered (I think, the trailer makes it seem like that) and he heads to the shack where her body was found but now three people (the Trinity) are there and it's a portal to a magical world that will teach him how to live again. Or something.
In Limited Release
Headshot: A new Indonesian action film from The Mo Brothers. It stars the lead actor from The Raid and while there seems to be a Bourne amnesia-type set-up, all you need to know if that there will likely some insane action scenes - that's the draw here.
The Last Word: A control freak played by Shirley Maclaine tries to direct Amanda Seyfried's obituary on how to write her obituary. When Maclaine's character realizes she's been a monster and has left no legacy, she tries to make a change before she croaks. It actually looks pretty cute.
The Wolves: A young basketball player struggles not to choke in big games so he can get a scholarship while his father (or step-father) raises the stakes by losing all of the college fund gambling. The trailer shows pretty much the entire movie.
Freedom to Marry: A documentary about the landmark Supreme Court decision on the rights for homosexuals to get married.
Also, Donald Cries and My Scientology Movie
I plead ignorance about the major new releases. Metacritic has the top three new releases as the post-punk Sleaford Mods, electronic Blanck Mass, and indie folk Nadia Reid. I've also heard of Bleached, a female pop-punk band and Grandaddy, an indie rock band but not well enough to have an opinion or any emotion about new music coming from them.
I've totally dropped the ball on Songs of the Day so I'm going to switch to Artist of the Week. I'm going to start with the guy who has dominated my last few months, Rationale. Here's his latest single, Vessels. Not necessarily my favorite but still a very good tune with a solid message. I pre-ordered his album but it was canceled so I'm not sure what's going on but I've been addicted to his EPs.
The top of my list is National Treasure, a UK Channel 4 miniseries that is coming to Hulu. It stars Robbie Coltrane, Julie Waters, and Andre Riseborough and focuses on a Bil Cosby-like comedy legend who is accused of rape by multiple women.
However, that should not overshadow the return of Gino Anthony Pesi and "Shades of Blue" (OK, Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta are also in it.) I thought the first season flew under the radar and I hope that more people find it this time around. The second season premieres Sunday on NBC at at 10pm, following the premiere of Chicago Justice, the latest from Dick Wolf's "Chicago" franchise.
As for shows that are already on, Taboo roars into its final episode so if you want to catch up on FX's Tom Hardy-led drama, now is the time. It's a testament to how good Tom Hardy and Jonathon Pryce are as actors because I'm not sure how good the show is but I can't stop watching it because of their performances. The entire cast is good in it but those two are standouts. It REALLY needs to stick the landing though so, if you haven't started it, you might want to wait to see how people react to the finale to see if the 8 episodes are worth your time. If you HAVE been watching, be careful of spoilers from Across the Pond where the finale has already aired this weekend.
For other recommendations, Legion (only three episodes in) is an X-Men-related series from Noah Hawley, the writer/director of FX's acclaimed Fargo TV show. So far, it's my favorite show on television. The Expanse (SyFy) continues to be THE surprise of the last year and is delivering a knockout second season. I don't think you'll regret catching up with The Mick on Hulu. Kaitlin Olson from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is hilarious as a ne'er-do-well aunt who has to take care of her stuck-up niece and nephews after their parents flee the country when their financial crimes are uncovered by the Feds.
If you torrent shows or somehow have access to UK TV feeds (not sure my blog has a huge following overseas), the new seasons of standouts Broadchurch and top notch comedy Catastrophe are premiering as is Prime Suspect 1973, a new take on the Helen Mirren classic which was remade in Us starring Mario Bello (It was a decent show; just didn't get enough ratings.)
Catastrophe lands on Amazon Prime for us US viewers on April 28th. Besides being a great comedy, it features Carrie Fisher's last filmed role. I'm not sure when Broadchurch season 3 will make it Stateside.